Traverse City Record-Eagle

November 21, 2013

Victim, devoted mother, dreamt of being a baker


---- — PESHAWBESTOWN -- Sandy Anderson's family and friends packed her house to mourn her daughter, Monica June Anderson, 28, the day after a bullet felled her in a Traverse City apartment.

Anderson’s oft-remembered smile beamed from a photo on the living room wall and mourners' tears flowed as they tried to process their loss.

Anderson, a member of the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, died during an incident with her boyfriend of about four years. Friends and family expressed shock at the sudden, violent turn.

“She was very outgoing, always smiling and loved her kids,” Sandy Anderson said.

Monica Anderson is survived by her two children, a boy, 3, and a girl, 9.

Monica Anderson dreamed of being a baker, her mother said. She taught herself how to bake and showered her family in baked goods and especially cakes, including a recent three-layer cake with pumpkin and chocolate layers.

She recently left a job at Potter’s Bakery in Traverse City.

“Her kids were her main priority,” Sandy Anderson said. “She was a very good mom.”

A coworker at Potter’s Bakery recalled Anderson brimmed with pride when her daughter danced at a powwow this summer.

“She was very proud of her daughter,” Marie Thibodeau, the clerk at Potter’s Bakery said.

Friends remembered Monica Anderson as a dedicated friend, and a fun woman who loved to smile.

“She’s just a person that’s always fun to be around,” Wasinade Raphael, a longtime friend said. “She’s always laughing, always has something funny to say; she’s always making jokes.”

Monica Anderson went out with friends for a girl’s night out on Nov. 16. Friends said she appeared to be her usual cheerful self.

“She was very happy. She had a smile which lit up any room she walked into,” said one of Anderson’s friends who also is named Monica Anderson. “She’s going to be sorely missed in our community, and I’m going to miss sharing my name with her."

Anderson was born in Lansing before her parents moved to the Suttons Bay area when she was in the fifth grade. Anderson embraced the community, and the Grand Traverse Band. The 2003 Suttons Bay High School graduate played basketball for the Band and was a junior tribal council member, her mother said.

"She just did a lot of things. She was very outgoing, very outspoken. She got that from me," Sandy Anderson said.